Apple as well as Moto and Huewai all offering dual camera on their premium devices claiming that they improve photo quality. But how does the technology achieve this?
There are actually two competing technologies in the dual camera market. The tech that is used by Apple on the iPhone 7 which has 2 cameras on different focal lengths and combined they can create photos which are similar to SLR in focal depth where you can have objects in the foreground in focus and the backgrounds out of focus.
The other tech that is used by Huewai on its P9 flag ship phone is to have one colour camera and one black and white camera. Both camera capture the image and then the colour and black and white are combined to create a full photo with better shadows and supposedly better quality in low light conditions.
So can these technologies really offer you better photos? Well both variations rely on software to combine the two images into one final image and although they do this well they are never going to be a replacement for a DSLR camera with quality lens which could be picked up pre-owned for few hundred quid. They are a big improvement over most single camera smart phones for taking photos and give better results than most dedicated compact cameras. But if you are a keen amateur photographer or take photos for an living then it isn’t time to put away your DSLR camera just yet.
Here is a comparison of the iPhone 7 using dual camera and a standard iPhone 6 single camera photo. See how the photo taken with the dual camera the woman in the foreground is in focus but the background is out of focus. This is an effect than cannot be recreated on a single camera smartphone.
As more and more phones start to come with dual cameras it won’t be long before the tech with trickle down to budget and low end phone and then we can all enjoy better quality photos